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Posted by on Mar 16, 2013 in Announcements, Books, Culture | 0 comments

Conflux 9 program announced

Conflux 9, the 2013 national science fiction convention, here in Australia, has just released its program (you’ll need to click on the links for the individual days to get the detail, such as this for the Saturday). There is still quite a lot of important detail to come, as the convention has not yet finalised who is on what panel. I’ll be taking part, but my own panels have yet to be absolutely nailed down. I’m sure that will happen well before the convention begins on April 25, and I’ll announce it.

They originally put me down for (among other things) a panel on steampuck, but I asked to be removed from this one. Like most science-fiction fans I’ve read seminal books such as The Difference Engine and The Diamond Age, but steampunk has become so popular that it is now virtually its own highly ramified sub-genre, a sub-genre that I don’t keep up with in any detailed way. If I spoke on that topic in front of an interested audience, I’d feel like a charlatan. But anyway, I’m sure that I am the least of the organisers’ worries with that little scruple – there will be all sorts of other people with more complicated problems, or who are asking to appear on the program at a rather late stage.

Among the many things that happen at a national sf convention in Australia, we’ll see the announcement of this year’s winner of the Norma K. Hemming Award. I’m a member of the jury deciding on this award, and right now it’s taking up a lot of my time. Even I don’t yet know who the winner will be, though the jurors will need to come to a decision in the next three weeks or so. What I can say is that this is a very strong field, with no shortage of books that would, in my humble opinion, be worthy of recognition.